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Comment Patent on Test, not Gene Sequence (Score 1) 91

The Yahoo article seems to talk about patenting the gene sequence fragment used to detect the sequence in a human. The company that isolated that gene sequence wants patent protection so they can sell the test without competition from another company that reads the patent to generate a similar test without the R&D costs. This sounds similar to Drugs vs Generic Drugs.

I think they can patent their test, but not the genes they are looking for. If they do have a patent on the gene sequence, then can't they do a cease and desist on all humans with that sequence of genes? Doesn't make sense to me. Of course, if there is a generic test that can look for any gene sequence, then that test can't be patented either. e.g. Invent a device that can look for any sequence, enter the sequence GATTACA = some specific disease. Oops, you're not allowed to look for that sequence because it's patented by XYZ Corp.

So, how do you protect an initial company's R&D investment (finding that sequence of genes)? Should it just be kept secret until they find a therapy or drug or test? If the tests are easy to replicate, then there's no first mover advantage and the drug company has to keep the gene sequence a secret and sell tests without a patent and just say "Trust Us" without peer review.

If another company independently finds the same sequence, then shouldn't they be allowed to use that sequence? I think Yes.

But how do you know if they found the sequence themselves or reverse engineered a competitor's test?

Comment Groupon is for Marketing (Score 1) 611

I couldn't find the video, otherwise I'd put the link here, but a few months ago, I saw a video by 3 customers of Groupon: scuba dive shop, steak restaurant, and cupcake shop. Basically, Groupon takes 50% of the coupon value. So, if a merchant gives 50% off retail on the coupon, they only get 25% of retail. The cupcake shop experienced the same thing as this baker, but revised his idea of what Groupon is and is using it successfully. He now thinks Groupon is marketing with associated costs and just budgets accordingly. He also put some stipulations on the coupon: 1. No choice of flavors, you get what he has in stock and they choose what you get. 2. You must notify him advance (2 days), if you have a big order.

I just don't understand why Groupon doesn't set expectations properly with their merchants. When these bad things happen, all 3 (Groupon, Merchant, Customers) lose. Groupon loses follow-on business from the Merchant. Merchant gets overwhelmed and a bad reputation. Customers get a bad product or experience. If Groupon sets the expectations properly, I don't see why all three can't have a good experience. I assume the Groupon sales people are just pushing volume and don't have any training. But it should make sense that by setting expectations properly and coaching the Merchants, that Groupon would have follow-on business from the Merchant -- a much better business model than pushing a one-shot coupon.

Comment Re:Invasion of Privacy (Score 1) 433

1. Odd that during political races, (4) is fair game. Political opponents dig up dirt and sling it.
2. Convicted sexual predators and their locations are put on government websites. Here, (4) seems like fair game too.

So, I guess the key word is "unfair" consequences which is a judgment call -- and thus up to the jury.

Comment Not 90% drop, 98.75% paywall drop off. (Score 1) 311

If you read the article, the 90% drop is after requiring registration for the free service. That's not a paywall. It's a free-registration-wall. Only 15,000 are paying. "1.2 million daily unique users" "150,000 users registered for access to the Times and Sunday Times while they were free, with 15,000 apparently agreeing to pay money." 15k/1.2M = 1.25%

Comment Odd, CA already voted for a high speed rail (Score 1) 1385

From the article: "List of potential routes: California corridor : Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego" Just last year, CA voted and passed a proposition for a high speed rail. It looks like this is just a way of shifting the cost to the Fed. I bet the other high-speed rail lines are also planned routes by regional governments.

Comment Sequels = Suckage. (Score 1) 290

From the Researchers at HP Palo Alto article: 'Their rather depressing finding is that "the more frequently an individual uploads content the less likely it is that it will reach a success threshold."' I would think the die-off in popularity is the same phenomenon as Hollywood making sequels that aren't as good as the original than due to the dilution of brand. For example: Rocky, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars. In all those cases, success = bigger budget for the sequels and slicker movie, but better movie? Rarely.

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